DOVE COTES IN THE GARDEN
In Norman and medieval times, doves or pigeons were housed in enormous high towers, rather like windmills, which accommodated thou-sands of birds. Present-day gardens do not permit of such extensive fanciership, but nevertheless a few pigeons in a well-constructed cote can add greatly to the charm of a garden, and if well-fed and provided with grit, pigeons will neither do harm to garden or to the house walls.
An old-English atmosphere may be given a garden by placing a cote in the centre of a paved, gravelled, brick or cobbled courtyard, dotted here and there with low-growing plants, and planted in the corners with clipped box, yew, or some deciduous tree, such as lilac or quince or medlar, which develop a gnarled appearance.
Dove-cotes should be constructed of thick wood, and be absolutely waterproof, or the doves will not inhabit them. Where, as is usually the case, numerous entrances are provided, they should lead to separate compartments, so that the whole cote is a block of self-contained flats!
There are many designs for dove-cotes, but here, as in most garden features, simplicity is best. Where the centre post is not set in the ground the base should be sufficiently heavy to ensure that the cote is not blown over.
A wall-cote upon a sheltered wall could be constructed of thinner material than that exposed upon a pole to the fury of the elements, but they are less arresting as central features in design, although two broadmay very effectively lead up to such a cote.